As the UK comes out of lockdown, many businesses are doing their best to ensure their premises are COVID-secure. However, with premises being empty for months, the risk of legionella bacteria thriving in unused water systems is high, leading to national and regional media outlets publishing warning articles.
The Daily Express highlighted official advice for businesses returning to their premises after lockdown to protect them from the dangers of the legionella virus. This includes flushing the water system with fresh water and increasing the temperature of the hot water to over 60oC as that will kill off the bacteria. We also advise testing the water with our DIY legionella testing kit or asking us to test it for you.
Technology magazine PCR recommended using smart technology as a way of protecting your business from the legionella bacteria post lockdown. Water systems are monitored and controlled via the Internet of Things, with temperature controls and flushing when necessary. What’s more, all the data is stored on the cloud, reducing the amount of time staff take with recording information.
There have been a number of discoveries of the legionella bacteria in water systems around the world, with two outbreaks of Legionnaires’ disease.
In Portland, Oregon, there has been a new case of Legionnaires’ disease in an apartment building. This follows an outbreak in January which resulted in four people being hospitalised and one fatality. In January, temporary accommodation had to be found for residents while the outbreak was dealt with. In the latest outbreak, evacuation hasn’t been recommended as officials try and discover the source of the infection.
In Italy, a cancer patient died after contracting Legionnaires’ disease in the hospital. As a result of the outbreak, 65 patients had to be transferred to other hospitals while remedial work took place.
If you are worried about the risk of legionella bacteria on your company’s premises, try our free compliance audit to help you assess the next move.